The Anson County Tourism Development Authority held its monthly meeting at the Ladybug Family Restaurant on Feb. 13, discussing the upcoming Wild Hog Roundup and Catfish Stew Cookoff, as well as a verbal presentation and funding request from the Arts Council.
The TDA voted to donate $250 for the second annual Wild Hog Roundup, though they will request that proceeds stay in Anson County. For more information on the hunt, which takes place March 22-23, visit www.ansoncountywildhogroundup.com.
The board also listened to a request from guests Leslie Capell and Roe Boothby, representatives of the Arts Council. Capell and Boothby presented an attendance sheet to the board showing that the Ansonia Theatre has had roughly 10,227 guests since April 2007 and that guests have hailed from various locations all over the state and nation. Additionally, many performers at Ansonia Theatre have stayed locally in Anson, with some staying for more than one night, according to Capell and Boothby.
The Arts Council tries to hold a variety of events to be widely appealing and would like to bring in other, more expensive performances, such as “Angelina Ballerina” and Erica Mcgee’s “Grits” to Ansonia Theatre. Expensive ticket prices have prevented the theatre from hosting such shows. To show these performances, especially because of the entertainment and tourism economic impact the Council has, Capell and Boothby requested that the TDA “combine forces” to make this possible.
TDA vice chairman Jeff Boothby said that the deadline for 2013 funding was in October 2012, and that the funding application deadline for 2013-2014 is April. Director Dave Smith added that the TDA can’t provide an open-ended budget, but, as Boothby added, proposed events may be funded or turned down according to the TDA’s budget. Capell and Roe Boothby can file an application for funding by April and ask the board about individual events as they come, according to Smith and Jeff Boothby.
After the presentation, Jeff Boothby delivered the financial report. Although there was a 4 percent revenue decline from December 2011 to December 2012, there is “still a positive growth trend,” according to Boothby. As of the end of January, the current TDA budget was approximately $85,000, according to Boothby and Smith.
TDA chairman Jessica Anderson updated the board on the upcoming county blueway. Anderson and other board members and blueway planners attended a meeting with the Carolina Thread Trail, which is a regional network of greenways and trails that reaches 15 counties and 2.3 million people, according to its website. About $300,000 has been earmarked for the Anson County thread trail project; of that, $150,000 is for land acquisition for launch sites and $150,000 is for construction of the actual sites. Sites for launch sites are being looked into, including a site above the Pee Dee Wildlife Refuge at Rocky River and another below it at Pee Dee, according to Anderson.
The board also discussed collecting occupancy tax from a local bed and breakfast, which hasn’t paid it based on differing interpretations of a legal technicality. Board member Dale Nelson volunteered to discuss the issue with County Manager Lawrence Gatewood.
The board also voted to place a one-sixth of a page advertisement in the travel editions of magazines “Carolina Country” and “South Carolina Living” for $650 and $13,010, respectively. “Carolina Country” reaches 660,000 people a month and “South Carolina Living” reaches 478,000 a month. Smith will design an ad featuring the wildlife refuge and Ansonia Theatre, which will be presented to other members of the board for approval before publication.
The board went into closed session to discuss personnel matters. Its next meeting will be held March 13 at noon at the Ladybug Family Restaurant.